Patience, Tremendousness, Determination, Solidarity are words that symbolize the character of Igo. She loves entertainment, art, music and biography books.
When she recalls childhood and youth, all she remembers is that she was spoiled by everyone in family. As the youngest child in the family, everyone has taken great care to fulfill every wish of her.
She remembers the time how she began to fight for women’s rights in this way, Igo’s parents did not make any difference in her family in the context of roles between a girl and a boy and the things they can do. She grew up equally with her brothers. But when she realized that in the suburb areas of Pristina there were women who were illiterate, she decided together with her sister, Safete Rogova, to begin an activity in order to teach women how to read. This way the Association “Motrat Qiriazi” was established. The activities that Igo will always remember are related to the mid-1990s, when the Association “Motrat Qiriazi” started its activity in the region of Has with the aim of empowering women and girls through various activities such as education, art and sports. At the time when the Milosevic regime shut down Albanian schools and burned Albanian books, she says that they had to open schools and libraries. She further states that for each activity they had Plan A and Plan B because they had to be very careful from the Milosevic’s police forces. So, when the first library in Has was established, an opening ceremony was organized, but, Igo maintains, “when we heard that the police approached the village, then we turned on the music and made the atmosphere sound like a wedding feast”. When the police queried what we were doing, I said, “We are have a wedding.” After they left, we continued with the opening ceremony of the library.
Today we have all the necessary mechanisms for achieving gender equality in Kosovo, but we do not have the proper implementation of these mechanisms, so we need women and men in decision-making positions who believe in equality and fight for the implementation of laws and not violate them.
Empowering women for me means Peace, Stability, Justice and Development. Equality begins in the family by making no difference what a boy or a girl can do. Social rates need to be changed.
Some of the projects that Igo has developed with Kosovo Women Network and which made an impact to the society are the following:
1. Domestic violence: In 2004, we organized protests against domestic violence. We wanted a law against domestic violence. But since the institutions did not believe we had domestic violence, I launched the research: Safety begins at Home. Afterwards the law against domestic violence was launched and the national plan against domestic violence was prepared.
2. Legal Protection and Justice for Survivors of Sexual Violence during the War. On March 8, 2012, we organized protests with these requests. We involved in the process of amending the law on legal protection for survivors of sexual violence and through the engagement of the Council for the support of the survivors, led by President Jahjaga, where we were also members of KWN, today they enjoy legal protection and we hope that one day they will also gain the justice they deserve.
3. Sexual harassments: In 2014, on social networks, we released a video showing sexual harassment in Pristina streets. Then we organized the march against sexual harassment with the motto TAKE BACK THE NIGHT. Therefore, the great social debate began and we decided to conduct a research in 2016: Sexual Harassment in Kosovo. Today many organizations and individuals have joined this initiative, demanding earnestly the punishment of this phenomenon with legal remedies.
Igo Rogova is the Executive Director of the Kosovo Women Network.